Do you ever pause to consider your loyalty to one brand versus another? What factors drive you to purchase a particular product line, whether it’s toothpaste, milk or laundry detergent?
The Daniels College of Business’ new Consumer Insights and Business Innovation Center (CiBiC) is exploring these and other questions related to human behavior and its impact on market offerings. The interdisciplinary laboratory launched on Jan. 9 in a temporary location in the basement of the University of Denver’s Anderson Academic Commons. With fundraising underway to develop a permanent home for CiBiC, the center will offer access to the latest technologies for data collection and analysis, benefiting students, faculty and industry alike.
“CiBiC aligns with Daniels’ strategic priorities, particularly enhancing the student experience, faculty research, and curricular and programmatic innovation,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing Ali Besharat, the visionary behind CiBiC, who serves as its co-director with Assistant Professor of Marketing Melissa Archpru Akaka. “The development of CiBiC allows us to access new technologies that can help improve our research productivity and student engagement. Additionally, the lab will enhance our research impact and strengthen research partnerships with local businesses. It will eventually enable researchers to work together to study important individual, social and economic issues and solve complex problems.”
While its physical space will continue to evolve in the months ahead, CiBiC is already providing graduate and undergraduate marketing students with opportunities to experience various types of research—including experiments, surveys, focus groups and observations—as both participants and researchers.
“The integration of CiBiC throughout various courses will provide a clear focus on data-driven marketing throughout Daniels’ curriculum, which is critical for today’s business,” said Besharat. “CiBiC will also establish a state-of-the-art environment for learning marketing research, offering opportunities that extend beyond a traditional marketing classroom. Student engagement with the center will enhance experiential aspects of learning and help students better prepare for jobs in the ‘real world.’”
According to Besharat, CiBiC’s direct market connectivity promises to extend its reach far and wide, and has the potential to influence product development and innovation.
“With a plethora of tools and resources at its disposal, CiBiC optimizes the learning and testing experience to create customer-focused products and ideas that are based on proven methodologies,” he said. “Using scientific processes to draw out meaningful data to build a rich information base for strategic decision-making allows businesses to determine the features of a brand based on the interests of the consumer.”